Maternal Kin, Migration

Where we lived: Constable Hook, Bayonne, New Jersey.

My grandmother said that her aunt Emma was the first of the McNeelys to move to Bayonne, New Jersey. She and her husband, Irving Houser, who had a job with Standard Oil, settled there around 1910. Over the next 15-20 years, most of the McNeelys followed. The family settled in an area a few blocks square, not far from the refinery that dominated Bayonne life:

Bayonne1

(1) 87-A West 16th Street (between John F. Kennedy Boulevard and Avenue C) — The “home house,” as they say. This was Minnie McNeely‘s house, I believe, though her mother Martha Miller McNeely was the nominal head. Luther McNeely and his wife lived here for a stretch, as did Irving “Jay” McNeely when he moved North after his mother’s death. Margaret Colvert Allen stayed in this house during the summers she spent in New Jersey, and it it likely that Sarah McNeely Green also spent time here. Louise Colvert Renwick and Launie Mae Colvert Jones finished high school in Bayonne, and they probably lived on west 16th, too.

(2) 79 West 19th Street (between John F. Kennedy Boulevard and Avenue C) — John McNeely, wife Laura and stepdaughter Marie lived here.

(3) 88 Andrew Street (between John F. Kennedy Boulevard and Avenue C) — another of John McNeely’s addresses.

(4) 92 Andrew Street (between John F. Kennedy Boulevard and Avenue C) — the home of Emma and Irving Houser and children.

(5) 95 Andrew Street (between John F. Kennedy Boulevard and Avenue C) — another of the Housers’ addresses.

(6) 392 Avenue C (corner of 17th) — Wallace Temple AME Zion Church, location of funerals of Martha M. McNeely, Wardenur Houser Jones, Henry A. Houser.

(7) 421 Avenue C (between Andrew Street and 18th) — another of the Housers’ addresses.

(8) 454 Avenue C (between 19th and 20th) — the home of Edward McNeely at the time of his death.

(9) 41 West 20th Street (between Avenue C and Broadway) — Friendship Baptist Church, location of John McNeely’s funeral.

(10) 73 Andrew Street (between John F. Kennedy Boulevard and Avenue C) — perhaps the first of the Housers’ addresses.

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